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My child of 20+ years recently passed away. is his/her estate responsible for credit card debt and student loans. Phila, PA.

Philadelphia, PA |
Filed under: Estate planning

There is a small amount of savings and there is a child.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. I'm very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, the child's estate is responsible for the debts. If, however, the child had a very limited estate, then the creditors will have to take pennies on the dollar. You may wish to consult with an attorney in the jurisdiction where your child resided at the time of the child's death for further information.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


  2. I'm sorry for your loss. Any claims by your child's creditors would have to be made against your child's estate.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.


  3. I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that there may be exemptions and allowances which would be available to the child or spouse of your child. These may take precedence over creditor claims. In my state, for example, you may be able to shelter $60k or more from any creditor claims. The same is true for administrative expenses of the estate, (such as funeral costs). You should consult with a probate lawyer to make sure that this is handled properly.

    I too am very sorry for your loss. It is the kind of pain that a parent should never need to endure.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  4. It is true that the estate is responsible for debts in the decedent's name only. Credit cards generally speaking survive the death of the card holder. Many student loan agreements forgive the debt in the case of death, but you have to review each carefully.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

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